Best of 2013: Fashion
CRITIC'S CHOICE: Malibongwe Tyilo, Skattiewhatareyouwearing.blogspotcom
Great style moments always leave a lingering feeling. Celebrity lists, however, can become popularity contests, sometimes judged by people of questionable style. And one would be naive to think that there aren't publicists in the background pushing their clients' names through. Never mind that many celebrity lists are not truly reflective of personal style (these people have stylists, after all) perhaps there'd be more justice in best stylist lists, but then again, stylists don't move magazine units.
So what makes a best-dressed celebrity? Is it about wearing a crowd-pleasing gown on the red carpet or taking a fashion risk that makes great fodder for the tabloids? Who can forget Gwyneth Paltrow's pantyless Antonio Berardi disaster at the Iron Man 3 premiere earlier this year? Yet, still she stays on top of the style stakes. And what of People magazine's choice for best dressed – Kerry Washington? She certainly doesn't always get it right, but she (or her stylist) takes risks and they pay off, most of the time anyway.
However, if I were to put myself in the shoes of those who deem themselves to be authorities on this sort of thing, I'd much prefer to look at the celebrity's style on both the red carpet and the pavement. It's always a bit more enlightening to see them sans designer garments and stylist's advice.
We'd all do well to remember that, although the biggest international stars are most certainly of the Hollywood variety, they are not the only kind there are. There are many more stylish British movie stars, singers and models with an international following.
A view that's a little less myopic and we would have vastly different lists from the likes of People.com and Time Entertainment, the latter having listed Mariah Carey as the seventh-best-dressed famous human of 2013. Bless Mimi but a bedazzled arm sling does not a best-dressed outfit make. Having said that, however, Glamour UK did put Taylor Swift and Kristen Stewart at No 5 and No 1 respectively for best-dressed in 2013. Here's my take:
1. SOLANGE KNOWLES
This is no surprise to many as she was also great in 2012. In 2013 she continued to take fashion risks, and won. She always seems to dress in a way that fits her own unique personality. Who can forget her Stéphane Rolland dress at The Great Gatsby premiere in Cannes?
2. POPPY DELEVINGNE
She is as stylish on the streets as she is on the red carpet. But I especially loved her Emilia Wickstead shirtdress at the British Fashion Awards. But please google her – so much style – you'll lose respect for any list that doesn't feature her.
3. KERRY WASHINGTON
There is no question about it, 2013 belonged to Kerry, and she looked fierce for most of it and took risks. For that she is my third-best-dressed for the year.
4. ROSIE HUNTINGTON WHITELY
Although her general style is not the riskiest, the way she wore an Antonio Berardi suit to the British Fashion Awards absolves her of all her sins.
5. NIKKI REED
Bless the day she found Camilla and Marc, because that just lifted her style to new levels. Previously, I would not have imagined her on any list to do with style.
Five number ones from five authoritative lists
KERRY WASHINGTON (People's Number 1)
I've got lots of respect for Miss Washington's style, although she has more hits than misses. She is definitely in my top five, but to call her best-dressed is a stretch. Perhaps we are confusing her with Olivia Pope?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE (Time Entertainment's Number 1)
Admittedly she completely owned the Dior dress she wore when she accepted her best actress trophy. But some of her other outfits have been just okay, not mind-blowing. Certainly not enough to make her best-dressed for all of 2013.
KRISTEN STEWART (Glamour UK's Number 1)
I get the rock-chick thing, I like the experimentation, but something about her style looks as though it hasn't fully matured to its most sophisticated conclusion. Even the Balenciaga jumpsuit worn at the On the Road screening can't save her from her own awkwardness.
HEIDI KLUM (voted best dressed at the Emmys, Cosmopolitan.com)
She looked stunning in her Versace choker dress, certainly quite the vixen, but at that specific event so many more were better dressed, including Kerry Washington in Marchesa.
CLAIRE DANES (voted best dressed at the Emmys, Vogue.com)
Thankfully, Heidi Klum's dress did not make it on to the top 10 on this list. Claire's dress was exquisite but easily lost in the sea of pale colours worn to this event.
SA STYLE AWARDS WINNERS
Most Innovative Style: Joao Fonseca from Mi Casa
Most stylish Performing Artist in Music: Chiano Sky
Most Stylish Performing Artist in Film or TV: Minnie Dlamini
Most Stylish Media Personality: Simba Mhere
Most Stylish Designer Interior: John Jacob
Most Stylish Model – Female: Thando Hopa
Most Stylish Model – Male: Masego Maponyane
Most Stylish Business Personality – Wanted/Jameson: Connor Mccreedy
Most Stylish Couple: Kerry McGregor and Neil McKenzie
Most Stylish SA Icon: Yvonne Chaka Chaka